Hot take from a social media manager: We’re not meant to be on social media all the time.
While social media marketing can drive some seriously jaw-dropping results for our businesses — whether it’s building a ride-or-die community or multiplying our sales — we can all benefit from some time away from it every now and then.
Balancing social media, on top of the other 318 things that are constantly on our to-do list as business owners, is hard. Sometimes social media simply needs to be put on the backburner for a bit so we can focus on our goals, our mental health, our productivity or just our real lives.
I’m a big advocate for taking a step back from social media when you need to — I know firsthand that you’ll come back stronger, refreshed, and bursting with innovative, creative ideas. And if you don’t take that time away, it’s a one-way ticket to burnout city (Welcome! Don’t bother unpacking your bags, you won’t want to stay here long!)
But what do you do when your social media-free weekend turns into a two-week break? Or four weeks? Or three months? By the way, I just took a two-month social media break, so no judgment here! Consider this your roadmap.
5 Steps To Come Back After a Social Media Break
Step 1: Develop Your Plan
Staying off of social media should have two great benefits: extra time and fresh ideas. Spend this time getting clear on your overarching business goals. What do you hope to achieve in 12 months time? Now consider what platforms, tactics and content will help you get there.
Don’t be afraid to map out a completely new marketing strategy while you’re away — assess what’s worked well for you in the past, and what will fit into your goals and routines moving forward. Before you even make that first post back, have a plan mapped out and *at least* two weeks worth of content prepped and ready to go.
Step 2: Chart Your Own Path
Reminder: you don’t need to do what anyone else is doing. In fact, your followers will probably enjoy your content more if it’s innovative and different.
Is there a new platform you’ve been wanting to try out? Or a topic you haven’t heard anyone in your industry cover yet? Be the risk-taker and chart your own path when mapping out your digital marketing plan; chances are, it’ll pay off!
Step 3: Find Your Inspiration
A common reason that a lot of us experience social media burnout is because we feel like we’re seeing the same topics over and over, and we’re just contributing to the noise. This is your friendly reminder to stop looking for inspiration on social media, and start looking to new sources.
I find the majority of my creative bursts come during times when I’m just letting my mind wander, whether I’m watching an Audrey Hepburn movie, listening to Taylor’s Reputation album, or taking my dog on a walk. You’ll be shocked at how many quality ideas you come up with when you stop scrolling and start tapping into your own creativity!
P.S. There’s a full episode on my podcast where I’m revealing 7 secrets to unlock endless content ideas, including where I turn for inspiration to avoid content burnout!
Step 4: Commit To Growth Strategies
When you’re making a social media comeback, you have to do it with your whole heart! Commit to putting in the time and energy needed to try out new strategies and measuring what works best for you so you know where to focus moving forward.
Ensure that you’re responding to comments and DMs on a daily basis, start conversations with relevant accounts, and connect with your ideal followers to continue building relationships.
Step 5: To Address It Or Not To Address It?
Now that you’re officially ready to make your comeback you may be asking yourself, “Do I awkwardly say, ‘long time no see, my bad’ or do I just come back like I never left?” Honestly, there’s no right or wrong answer, and it’s always a good idea to do what feels best for you.
You may want to consider giving a quick recap on your stories of what you’ve been up to while you were gone or just diving back in with your high-value content.
No matter which path you choose, the most important part is consistency. Follow the plan you mapped out in the first step and remain consistent with your posting schedule to signal to your audience that they can trust that you’re here to stay.
Bonus Tip: How To Prepare Your Profile Before Your Break
If you’re planning to take a step away from social media for an extended period of time (two weeks or more), you’ll want to make sure that your profile is prepped and ready for anything that might go on while you’re away. Here’s a quick checklist to keep in mind:
- Make sure bio and contact information in up-to-date
- Double check link in bio and call to action
- Pin a few posts to the top of your profile (I recommend including one community-builder that shares info about you/the company or a relatable light-hearted topic and one promotional post about your offers and what you do)
- Update Story Highlights on Instagram and consider adding an ‘Offline’ highlight with details on how to get in touch and when you’re expected back
- OPTIONAL: Add a line in your bio stating that you’re offline right now and when you’ll be back
Taking a step back from social media every now and then is important — it can serve as a reminder to focus on our goals, hone our strategy, and develop our creativity. And no matter how long you keep those apps hidden in a folder on the last page of your phone’s Home screen, you’ll always be able to come back stronger than ever. I’ll be here cheering you on! Follow me over on Instagram @marketingshift for more!